“Day of Mourning” Cripples Karachi

Posted August 23rd, 2011 at 5:20 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

A general strike called to protest the ongoing political and ethnic violence in Karachi has left Pakistan's largest city mostly deserted Tuesday.

Karachi's main political party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement , called for the “day of mourning” after nearly 100 people were killed during the past week in the southern port city. MQM says that the recent violence has resulted in the deaths of many of its members.

Most businesses, schools, and government offices were closed, and traffic was light in the city on Tuesday in observance of the strike.

On Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani traveled to Karachi for talks with government officials in Sindh province. The prime minister said strict action should be taken against those responsible for the violence.

Hundreds of people have been killed in Karachi in recent months, in one of the worst waves of unrest there in years. Many of the killings are blamed on ethnic gangs linked to rival political factions, such as the majority Urdu-speaking MQM and the mostly Pashtun Awami National Party.